I’ve been content marketing for ten years now, in various different industries, and it surprises me how many people still misinterpret what content marketing actually is.
A lot of businesses still see their blog as a place to shout about their achievements and how great they are, or worse, they have them sit there and do nothing for months—sometimes years.
It’s easy for blogs to get neglected when we’re super busy and marketing ourselves can seem like the last thing we need to do because we’ve already got so much work on.
But it’s impossible to grow without regular marketing, and even harder to grow without putting work into your business.
So what difference can regular content marketing really make to you and your business? Let’s take a look…
It improves your writing skills
Great writing takes practice, but the truth is, most of us aren’t taught to write well at school.
We’re taught to write for an academic audience, which isn’t readable or fun to do. So, it’s really no wonder most of us don’t want to do for work or pleasure when we leave.
A regular writing practice, which you get from having a blog, hones your skills.
It allows you room to breathe and experiment. The more you do it, the more those earlier, less effective blogs get drowned out by the better posts you write. You need to write those less good posts to get to a truly great standard, though.
And let’s not forget that learning something new doesn’t happen in a straight line, so some posts midway through your journey might not be as good at your early ones, while you’ll have some later ones that are totally kick ass.
It all builds over time to make you a stronger writer. So long as you’re doing it consistently enough to get that practice in.
The more regularly you write, the faster your skill will grow.
There’s a reason a lot of marketers commit to a daily writing practice to improve their skills. It works.
Whether you believe the 10,000 hour rule or not, there’s no denying that practice leads to improvements.
It makes you a better salesperson
As well as making you a better writer, content marketing makes make you a better teacher and psychologist, too.
This, in turn, makes you a better salesperson.
To learn how to be a better writer, as well as regular practice, you’ll also need to study. This can happen organically from reading books and blogs unrelated to writing, as well as reading content about writing, like this blog, or the things I teach at The Writer’s Cookbook.
It’s not just about studying writing, though. You also need to learn about psychology, which will help you learn how to best communicate what you’re teaching your audience. When you understand psychology, it’s easier to tap into your audience’s psyche and get them to take the action you want.
Sales writing is all about persuasive language.
It teaches your audience
The best content marketing should teach your audience first and foremost. It’s not about you being at the centre of anything—it’s about them being at the centre, learning whatever they need to learn to improve their quality of life.
They just happened to find your blog post, video, or podcast on the topic because either they already follow you, someone linked them to you, or maybe they found you through search because your post is search engine optimised.
However they found you, your post should teach them something about themselves, their business, or your industry.
It shows your expertise
When someone is new to you, they’ll naturally have questions about whether or not they can trust you. Content marketing allows you to show your expertise off to your audience in a low-risk way.
The lower the risk when they first meet you, the more likely they are to take it.
Then, you can start to increase those risks by asking them to follow you on social, sign up to your mailing list, make a small purchase, make a larger one, etc.
It helps you stand out
This one is under the condition that you’re not parroting off what other people in your industry are saying, too. You need to show off your knowledge, opinion, and voice if you’re going to stand out. If you’re not doing this, you just fall into the sea of voices the same as anyone else.
You can stand out with things like contrary opinions (so long as you actually believe what you’re saying and you’re not just saying it to be contrary), language usage (like in my previous post on content marketing sins where I compared flowery language to frilly knickers), or how in-depth you go in posts.
Everyone has something that can make them stand out from their competition, but many of us are uncomfortable leaning into that because we don’t want to stand out too much. We’ve been conditioned our whole lives not to do that.
However, great business comes from standing out.
Look at everything Apple has done over the years, for example. Many people didn’t think computer mice, or smartphones, or tablets would take on. Apple weren’t the first people to come up with these things, but they were the first people to market them well; to explain them in ways that made sense to the masses. And now, we couldn’t live without any of those things.
All because Apple’s marketing team know how to use language to make their versions of products stand out.
Whatever your industry, content marketing can help you and your business. It teaches you new skills like writing and psychology, as well as helping improve your marketing and sales skills.
It also helps you form a greater connection with your audience, meaning they’ll trust you more before they spend money, which will mean they may spend more with you and recommend you to their friends, too.
If you’d like help with your content marketing writing or editing, check out my services page.